Time is not your friend when you’re unemployed. Every day without a job feels like an eternity and the stress is overwhelming as you wait for a call back with positive news.
If it seems like the hiring process has gotten longer, it has. The average time it takes to interview for a job has nearly doubled since 2009, when the average interview took 15 days compared to 27 days currently, according to recent data reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Every minute counts when the clock is ticking on your career. These three tips will help you speed up the process of landing your dream job.
1. Personality Matters
I once saw a person interview for a CFO position only to have the personality test from the company return results saying the candidate wasn’t “detail-oriented.” Because CFOs deal with numbers, and details matter a great deal, they were immediately out of the running. Had they been prepared, they could have used their interview to highlight numerous other strengths and credentials and shown how they overcome that perceived issue.
It’s important to understand your personality traits and how they correlate with the job and company you are interviewing for. If you have never taken a personality assessment and don’t have an understanding of what your results will look like, you are at a disadvantage. So much is on the line that many companies are now leveraging a myriad of personality tests to see how individuals are wired and if they will work well with others and in various environments.
To get a free personality assessment and learn more about your strengths, you can go to pidteam.crown.org.
2. Get the Word Out
When you are looking for work or are open to opportunities, the whole world needs to know. Make sure everyone in your network knows you are available and what your dream job is and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
According to a top executive in the placement industry, nearly 75% of the available jobs are not posted online or advertised. These jobs are filled via word of mouth and through trusted connections. If you want to have access to those jobs, everyone needs to know you are looking for work.
3. Network with Decision Makers
Human resource departments are flooded with applicants applying for the few open positions. You may think HR’s job is to hire the best candidate, but many HR departments are following criteria given to them by an executive who was too busy to develop a job description and requirements including the background check for employment. HR will stay within a poorly defined box looking only at candidates who match these poorly defined criteria. Getting them to take a chance on a non-traditional candidate is almost impossible because they want to protect their job. Making a mistake on a candidate is something they won’t risk.
Decision makers and executives, however, cut through this red tape. If they walk in and say, “Here is Sally’s résumé. I want her on my team,” rest assured Sally will be hired.
Once you know the dream company or job you want, do everything possible to take your fate out of the hands of HR and into the hands of an executive inside the company who can sponsor you.
Networking to get connected takes time, but it is easier than you think. Recently, I was working with a graduate from a prestigious university who had a hard time finding work. Even with his stellar academic pedigree, he never received a callback from any résumés he sent in to companies. Interestingly, all of the callbacks, interviews and subsequent job offers came from networking with key leaders. Executives inside companies then “sponsored” him to land the job of his dreams.
Leverage your network, LinkedIn and other business relationships to meet and become friends with key leaders. They can help you get past the gatekeepers who protect their jobs by not thinking outside the box.
About the Author: Robert Dickie is the author of “The Leap: Launching Your Full Time Career in Our Part Time Economy.” As president of Crown, he is dedicated to helping people create long-term plans for financial, career and business success. Bob serves on multiple nonprofit boards and is an avid mountain climber and runner.